“Never repress anything,” is the line spoken by Otto Grossman, played by Vincent Cassel. This is the bases of all of David Cronenberg’s films. Cronenberg’s films deal with characters finding out about a repressed desire or trying to keep a desire repressed. A Dangerous Method (2011) is no different.
The only difference between this film and others by Cronenberg is this film is dialogue heavy. The dialogue heavy aspect of this film reminds me of Eric Rohmer’s Six Moral Tales (1964-1972). While this film is similar to Six Moral Tales it is still very Cronenbergish.
Many film critics have praised this film while many cineastes have found it mediocre. This film is good, and possible the best synthesis of the old Cronenberg with the new Cronenberg, but it is not as engrossing as his other films. Most cineastes have noted the acting, feeling underwhelmed, considering the cast, in this film, Keira Knightly, Michael Fassbinder, and Viggo Mortensen.
Keira Knightly gives a great performance as a “crazed women,” externalizing her inner turmoil through her body. This is in direct opposite to the performances by Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbinder whom have controlled restrained performance. This is what makes their performances great, but not necessarily the most memorable.
All in all, this is a good film filled with great performances just not memorable. It is also the best synthesis of Cronenberg’s style, but his new film Cosmopolis (2012) may easily top this. If you want a film filled with scenes of great dialogue and characters pondering the morals of monogamy and infidelity watch this film, if not spend your time on something else. As a Cronenberg fan, like I, you’ll enjoy yourself.